Monday, November 11, 2013

Laab Gai ( Thai Minced Chicken Salad )

Laab or larb is a minced meat salad flavoured with fish sauce and lime juice together with some other herbs like mint and coriander. It is a northeastern thai food and is said to be originated from Laos, the neighbouring country of Thailand. There are few variations of laab for instance they have laab gai which is chicken meat, laab moo which uses ground pork and they also have duck laab and beef laab. One interesting and new ingredient that i come across is toasted rice powder which seems like a an essential ingredient in laab..i'm not really sure as i see almost all laab recipes have this. Since it is not difficult to make, i added that in as well. Basically, it is just raw rice which get toasted in a pan and then pound till coarse or fine. This adds a little extra crunch bite to the laab. I pounded mine till fine and still i can get bits of crunchiness in some bites. Good thing that we can actually dont have to make a lot because they are just toasted rice, can even make just one or two tablespoon...and toasted rice can also be added into some dipping sauce

Laab are usually served along with glutinous rice but i didnt make any glutinuous rice and i just served them with some lettuce. Eating this laab reminds me of a kerabu dish..the flavours of the mint, the shallots, th elime juice and the coriander.

Thanks to all who have been submitting your entries to AFF ( Thai )  if you are a facebook user, you are also welcomed to share your dishes in our Facebook Page

Recipe ( from )
Serves 2
4-5 sprigs of cilantro/coriander , sliced
2 -3tbsp fish sauce
1 stalk green onion, sliced ( optional )
1/4 tbsp ground dried chilli pepper ( omitted )
1/2 lbs of ground chicken/pork  ( mine was 220gm of minced chicken )
juice from 2 limes
3 shallots, sliced
3  sprigs spearmint , sliced ( i used mint leaves)
1 tbsp toasted rice powder ( refer to method below )

Method :
1. Marinate the chicken with a tablespoon of lime juice for 5 minutes.
2. Heat up a pan on high until it is very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of water and then immediately add in the marinated chicken and stir. Use a wooden spoon to loosen the meat , keep stirring until the meat is cooked. You may add in a few more tablespoons of water to cook the meat to avoid from turning brown.
3. Put the meat into a large mixing bowl. Add fish sauce, green onion, shallot, cilantro, the rest of the lime juice ( i added just 2 tbsp of lime juice ), ground dried chilli pepper and almost all of the toasted rice powder. Save some toasted rice powder to sprinkle on top for garnishing. Mix well and taste . See if more fish sauce and lime juice are needed.
4. Put the mixed ingredients in a serving bowl, garnish with spearmint and sprinkle the rest of the toasted rice powder on top. Serve with vegetable like cabbage, lettuce and thai basil.

Toasted rice powder ( from here )
Heat up a pan and add one of two tablespoon of raw, uncooked rice. Lower the heat, keep stirring to prevent burning. The rice should be golden brown when done. Remove the rice from the pan into a mortar.
Instead of pounding, use the pestle to twist to crush the rice into powder. You can choose to crush into coarse powder or fine powder.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Thailand ) November Month hosted by frozen wings


  1. The specialty of this dish I learnt from here is the toasted rice and coarsely grind to add to the salad. Sounds great to me.

  2. What a wonderful and appetizing dish Lena!, I love the ingredients!

  3. This looks so delicious! I simply love all the flavours in Thai food.

  4. thank u for sharing ya..something really tasty here

    1. thanks jong! what a surprise to see you here!

  5. Lena, this dish is in my to do list and Hope to have time to make this too!

  6. I love lamb dishes and this looks so flavorful and delicious!


  7. Hi Lena , I love Thai and this dish looks delicious , thanks for sharng .

  8. Toasted rice powder..not try before. Love the herbs in this dish. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Lena, I love all kinds of Thai salads. But this one I haven't tried yet. Your lettuce is so fresh and very green :)

  10. Love it! especially thai salads.

  11. Wow, looking at your pics, can't help salivating. Great clicks, Lena!

  12. Amazing colour and flavours, Lena. Totally right up my alley!

  13. Lena, I call this the Thai version of "sang choi bao." The cantonese version is to eat with minced Peking duck with shallots, ornions......Your laab gai is definitely a healthier version to me.

  14. Hi lena! yea, I am back and feeling lazy:P Looks like I have lots of dishes to drool over already! I better pull up my socks high and get cracking if I want to join in this yummy and spicy event:) Your laab gai looks too delicious to pass up!

  15. This looks delicious! Thought of making this too, the toasted rice is an interesting ingredient. And also some other dishes that I wanted to try, hopefully I'll be able to find some time!!!

  16. This look so good…so flavorful. I like the idea of the toasted rice…yum!
    Have a wonderful week and yes, I am back :D

  17. This dish looks so fresh and appetizing. The addition of toasted rice is interesting.

  18. I've seen this dish on Thai menus so often, but never tried it before! I'll try one day and maybe make it at home with this recipe! :)

  19. Mmmm that looks quite delicious. Have a good week. Diane

  20. Lena , not only your laab gai looks fantastic I bet it tastes good as well ! The toasted rice powder sounds like a wonderful addition to the salad :D

  21. i like that the chicken is minced. It looks delightful and so fun to eat

  22. Hi Lena, I like that you serve it with lettuce.

  23. This looks fantastic Lena and your photos are wonderful. I will put this on my "to make" list, it's just the kind of food we love!